Spring Peeper - Acris crucifer
Description: 12/16 -1 5/16" (1.9-3.4 cm). Tan/brown
coloration. There is often a characteristic "X" shape
across the back.
species in our area: May look similar to the Northern
Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans) and Upland Chorus
Frog (Pseudacris triseriata) which are now both
thought to be extinct throughout our area.
A common frog found throughout the area, usually in
or around wooded areas with permanent or temporary bodies
of water, although not fully restricted to forests.
This species can tolerate somewhat urbanized areas,
and has recently been re-intoduced into Central Park.
It is one of the first species to start calling in the
spring and can even be heard on warmer winter nights.
It's voice is a distinctive "peep-peep".
It mates from early March to late May. Gelatinous eggs
laid in water. Young emerge June through August Voice
is a high pitched whistle. This species is mostly nocturnal.
Northern Gray Treefrog - Hyla versicolor
Description: 1 ¼ - 2 3/16" (3.2-5.6 cm).
Color gray or green. Rough warty skin. Distinct light
spot can be found below eye. Bright orange color can
be found on inside of hind legs. This species also has
very large toe pads used for climbing.
species in our area: NONE, although this species is
nearly identical to the Cope's Gray Treefrog (H.
chrysoscelis) and is only different in it’s call
and genetic makeup. Our native species (H. versicolor)
is often misidentified as the other (H. chrysoscelis
A fairly common found frog locally on Long Island. It
is uncommon or may be extinct elsewhere in our area.
Usually lives in wooded areas with water , up in tree
canopy, and therefore they are not commonly seen. Can
be seen by waters edge only during breeding, which occurs
between April and August in our area. Gelatinous eggs
laid in water. Tadpoles emerge late June to September.
Mature tadpoles sometimes have bright red tails. Voice
is a slow "trill" sound. This species is nocturnal.
Bullfrog - Rana catesbeiana
Description: 3 ½ - 8" (9-20 cm). The largest
frog in North America. Color is light to dark shades
of green, often with mottled brownish spots. Belly is
creamy white. Large external tympanum. Hind feet completely
webbed except for the last joint of the longest toe.
species in our area: The Green Frog (R. clamitans
) is smaller but often looks similar.
A very common frog throughout our area, and the largest
frog found in North America. Found throughout
many different freshwater habitats. Commonly seen in
the water, and this species can tolerate urbanized areas
fairly well. This species mates between May and late
July in our area. Gelatinous egg masses laid on the
surface of water. Tadpoles emerge late summer, early
fall. They are very large, olive green, and take a minimum
of 2 years to transform into frogs. Voice is a low,
vibrant bass sound similar to the pluck of a banjo string.
Calling in the spring is mostly at night as males try
to attract mates, but in the summer males call even
in the daytime to announce territorial boundaries.
Frog - Rana clamitans melanota
Description: 2 3/16 - 4" (5.5-10 cm). Variable
color from green to brown, sometimes has brown blotches
or spots. White cream colored belly. Males have yellow
throats. This species has large external tympanum and
distinct "dorsolateral ridges" that run from the head
down through the body.
species in our area: The Bullfrog (R. catesbeiana
) is larger but may look similar. Also similar to the
Southern Leopard Frog (R. sphenocephala utricularius).
A very common frog throughout our area. Found throughout
many different freshwater habitats. Commonly seen in
the water. This species can tolerate urbanized areas
fairly well. Breeds from May to July. Females attach
3-4 small gelatinous egg masses to submerged vegetation.
Metamorphs emerge late summer to early fall. Large olive
green tadpoles may overwinter twice before transforming.
Adults eat many items including small animals such as
other frogs, baby birds and small rodents such as mice.
Voice is often said to sound like a "loose guitar string",
loud and sometimes repeated several times. If
disturbed it jumps rapidly into the water while making
a single deep "chung" sound. This species
is considered to be nocturnal but can often be found
fully active during the day.
Wood Frog - Rana sylvatica
Description: 1 ½ - 3 1/8" (3.5-8 cm).
Color varies from tan to pink. Defining feature of this
species is the dark mask behind the eye that ends behind
the tympanum. They also possess dorsolateral ridges
from the eye to the anus. White belly. Toes are not
fully webbed. Males possess swollen thumbs.
species in our area: NONE
This species is fairly common in localized areas on
L.I. and is uncommon or may be extinct in the other
parts of our area. It prefers forests and wooded areas.
They need water for breeding, but after will often travel
appreciable distances away from water, deep into forests.
One of the earliest mating species in our area, breeding
adults converge in huge masses and breed explosively
between late February and mid April. Communal egg masses
are laid in vernal ponds. Tadpoles emerge early April
to Late May. Voice sounds like the quacking sounds of
a duck. Diurnal.
Southern Leopard Frog - Rana sphenocephala utricularius
Description: 2 - 4 5/16" (5.1-11 cm). Color varies
from brown to green. Many dark "leopard-like" spots
on dorsal surface. White spot in the center of the tympanum.
species in our area: Can be confused with the smaller
Pickerel Frog (R. palustris) in our area, but
has circular spots, not square. Also may look like the
Green Frog (R. clamitans ).
This is listed as a "Species of Special Concern" by
the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
and is becoming exceedingly rare on L.I. and is probably
extinct in the rest of our area. This is appear to be
due to the fact that they do not survive well in developed
areas. They prefer open, wet, grassy habitats.
In the summer they may wander far from standing water,
but only into moist areas. Mates from early March to
late April. Gelatinous egg masses attached to submerged
vegetation. Voice is a pulsing chuckle or croak.
Nocturnal, although they can often be seen during the
Pickerel Frog - Rana palustris
Description: 1 ¾ - 3 ¼" (4.4-8.2
cm). Usually brown. This species has two rows of spots
down back. The spots are square shaped, not circular.
They also have distinctive yellow and orange coloration
behind legs. This may extend onto the white belly. White
line down dorsolateral ridge. This species is also very
distasteful to predators.
species in our area: Looks similar to the Southern Leopard
Frog (R. utriculata) in our area, but has square
spots, not circular
This species though not very common in our area, may
be locally abundant throughout certain parts of our
area. It favors habitats in or very close to water near
dense herbaceous vegetation. Breeds April through May.
Gelatinous egg mass attached to submerged vegetation.
Metamorphs emerge by mid summer, and transform to adults
by late summer early fall. Voice is a steady low pitched
croak. This species is nocturnal although it can be
found during the day.
Fowler’s Toad - Bufo fowleri
Description: 2 - 3 1/8" (5.1-8 cm). This toad
has warty skin. Color varies from gray to almost red
in our area. Can be identified by a large gland above
the eye called the paratoid gland. In this species it
touches the cranial ridge behind the eye. Unspotted
belly. Large dark patches on dorsal surface have three
or more warts contained on them
species in our area: Very similar to the American Toad
(B. americanus). Paratoid not connected to cranial
ridge, and different mating call than Fowler’s Toad.
This is a fairly common inhabitant of our area although
numbers have reportedly decreased in recent years even
in preserved locations like the Jamaica Bay Wildlife
Refuge. They like sandy, well drained habitats. Found
in both wooded and poorly wooded areas. Mates from May
to August. Gelatinous eggs laid in strings which are
attached to submerged vegetation. Metamorphs emerge
July and August. Voice is a nasal "w-a-a-h" sound for
1 to 4 seconds. Nocturnal although seen active during
Eastern Spadefoot Toad - Scaphiopus holbrookii holbrookii
Description: 1 ¾ - 3" (4.4-7.5 cm). Sickle-shaped
spade on each hind foot used for digging. Smooth skin
with only a few warts. Brown to olive color. Often has
two golden-white stripes along it’s back form a lyre
shaped pattern. Belly is white or gray. Large golden
eyes with distinct vertical pupils.
species in our area: NONE
Not commonly seen in our area, partially due to a very
secretive lifestyle. It was once found throughout many
parts of our area, but now there are only scattered
populations on L.I. Lives in well drained and
arid, sandy or gravely areas such as the Pine Barrens
or coastal sandy areas. They are often found in shallow
burrows to avoid the harsh dry climates of their habitat.
This species breeds explosively during heavy rains from
April through August. Gelatinous eggs are laid in bands
attached to submerged vegetation. Eggs sometimes hatch
within two days. Transform into toads in 2 -
7 weeks. Voice is a loud, terse grunt that is low pitched
and short. It is said to sound like a young crow. Nocturnal.